The Dream of Arcadia, by Gerhard Nollen (1830-1901, Dutch). 80 x 94. The painting was owned by Joseph C. Hughes Jr., Keokuk, Iowa, whose father Joseph C. Hughes (J. C. Hughes) was a founder of the Keokuk Medical College, Keokuk, Iowa. The scene represents a dreams of the beautiful land of Arcadia with its sloping hills in the foreground, its graceful waterfall, its Grecian Temple on the hills and mountains in the distance. There are fifty-two figures used in illustrating the scene. Dr. Hughes valued the painting at $500.00.
---Edited and Updated, 9/2014---
It is based on the Thomas Cole painting of the same name painted in about 1838. That work is held at the Denver Art Museum. Nollen's painting is about twice the size of Cole's original.
Information accessed from creativity.denverartmuseum.org/1954_71/, 9/10/2014
Nollen painted in Keokuk, Lee County, and Pella, Marion County. He is said to have arrived in the United States in about 1854.
Painting conserved by Barry Bauman, 2012, Frame re-gilded by museum conservator Pete Sixbey, 2012
Bauman set the year of this painting as 1857.
Note: The following text from a SHM catalog card has been edited out of the original description, "The title of the picture was taken from Longfellow's poem, "Evangeline"."
This is inaccurate, Longfellow's poem is set in Acadie or Acadia in Nova Scotia, not the Greek region of Arcadia. (9/2014)
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Chronicling America 2014
Keokuk Daily Gate City/Constitution-Democrat